Lucio Fontana bigraphy, stories - Italian painter

Lucio Fontana : biography

19 February 1899 - 7 September 1968

Lucio Fontana (19 February 1899 – 7 September 1968) was an Italian painter, sculptor and theorist of Argentine birth.Chilvers, Ian. Oxford University Press, 10/giu/2004. p. 259. Web. 21 Jun. 2012. He was mostly known as the founder of Spatialism and his ties to Arte Povera.

Early life

Born in Rosario, of Italian parents, he is the son of Luigi Fontana.Sarah Whitfield, Lucio Fontana, University of California Press, 2000, p68. ISBN 0-520-22622-4Richard Kostelanetz, H. R. Brittain, A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes, Routledge, 2001, p216. ISBN 0-415-93764-7 Fontana spent the first years of his life in Italy and came back to Argentina in 1905, where he stayed until 1922, working as a sculptor along with his father, and then on his own. Already in 1926, he participated in the first exhibition of Nexus, a group of young Argentine artists working in Rosario de Santa Fé. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Exhibitions

Fontana had his first solo exhibitions at Galleria del Milione, Milan, in 1931. Gagosian Gallery. In 1961, Michel Tapié organized his first show in the U.S., an exhibition of the Venice series, at the Martha Jackson Gallery, New York. His first solo exhibition at an American museum was held at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in 1966. Walker Art Center. He participated in the Bienal de São Paulo and in numerous exhibitions around the world. Among others, major retrospectives have been organized by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (2006), Hayward Gallery, London (1999), Fondazione Lucio Fontana (1999), and the Centre Georges Pompidou (1987). Since 1930 Fontana's work had been exhibited regularly at the Venice Biennale, and he represented Argentina various times; he was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale of 1966.

Notes

Work

In 1927 Fontana returned to Italy and studied under the sculptor Adolfo Wildt, at Accademia di Brera from 1928 to 1930. It was there where he presented his first exhibition in 1930, organized by the Milano art gallery Il Milione. During the following decade he journeyed Italy and France, working with abstract and expressionist painters. In 1935 he joined the association Abstraction-Création in Paris and from 1936 to 1949 made expressionnist sculptures in ceramic and bronze. In 1939, he joined the Corrente, a Milan group of expressionist artists.

In 1940 he returned to Argentina. In Buenos Aires (1946) he founded the Altamira academy together with some of his students, and made public the White Manifesto, where it is stated that "Matter, colour and sound in motion are the phenomena whose simultaneous development makes up the new art". In the text, which Fontana did not sign but to which he actively contributed, he began to formulate the theories that he was to expand as Spazialismo, or Spatialism, in five manifestos from 1947 to 1952. MoMA Collection. Upon his return from Argentina in 1947, he supported, along with writers and philosophers, the first manifesto of spatialism (Spazialismo)**. Fontana had found his studio and works completely destroyed in the Allied bombings of Milan, Gagosian Gallery, New York. but soon also resumed his ceramics works in Albisola.

Following his return to Italy in 1948 Fontana exhibited his first Ambiente spaziale a luce nera (Spatial Environment) (1949) at the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan, a temporary installation consisting of a giant amoeba-like shape suspended in the void in a darkened room and lit by neon light. From 1949 on he started the so-called Spatial Concept or slash series, consisting in holes or slashes on the surface of monochrome paintings, drawing a sign of what he named "an art for the Space Age". He devised the generic title Concetto spaziale (‘spatial concept’) for these works and used it for almost all his later paintings. These can be divided into broad categories: the Buchi (‘holes’), beginning in 1949, and the Tagli (‘slashes’), which he instituted in the mid-1950s.Renato Barilli, MoMA Collection, New York.

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